Representative democracy or indirect democracy is a form of government in which the people elect representatives who can defend, manage, establish and execute all the interests of the population .
The main basis of representative democracy is direct voting, that is, the means by which the population can assess all candidates for representatives of the people and choose those they consider most suitable to represent them.
Representatives elected through voting can be councilors, state deputies, state deputies, senators, governors, etc. Theoretically, the function of the people who were elected is to represent the rights and interests of those who elected them, however, many examples of democratic systems around the world show that the relationship between the representatives and the population is quite questionable.
In its etymological sense, democracy is a model of government in which sovereignty is exercised by the people. In this context, the entire population has the right to express its opinion when choosing one of the available representatives.
However, for the representative democratic regime to be efficient, all persons who hold public positions in the Legislative and Executive powers and who have been elected by the people must be constantly renewed, that is, fixed periods are stipulated so that there are new elections.
Representative and direct democracy
Democracy is representative or indirect when the people elect, through direct voting, representatives who can hold public office and who meet in spaces of discussion, such as Parliament, Chambers, Congress, etc., with the aim of debating issues of interest to the general population.
The so-called direct democracy or pure democracy , in turn, is when each citizen has his direct participation in the choices and decisions of his interest. This model of democracy works in small communities, where the population is not very large, as otherwise it would make it difficult to count the votes or discuss them so that they can reach a concession on the commons.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Representative Democracy
Representative democracy, like any other form of government, has its pros and cons. Among its advantages, it is worth noting that decision-making is much simpler than in the case of direct democracy, since only the opinion of a few experts counts and not of the millions of people that make up a country.
On the other hand, although in representative democracy power is in the hands of the people, they delegate its exercise to the most prepared and experienced citizens when it comes to making decisions. And also, since power is not exercised personally, the objectives that are sought to be satisfied are always in pursuit of the common benefit .
But representative democracy also has a series of disadvantages, such as the fact that power being in the hands of a few makes it easier to manipulate it seeking to satisfy certain interests. Corruption cases tend to appear to a greater extent in this type of representative systems, since on occasions many politicians put the interests of powerful economic groups before the common good, even going so far as to harm the people who, in theory, they must defend .
The fact that only a few, the political representatives, have to make all the decisions of a large group, the people, means that in many cases they end up losing perspective and contact with reality, since it is impossible for them to know in detail all existing problems.
The different conceptions of democracy
The conceptions about the extension attributed to the guarantees of freedom oscillate between two poles: that of liberal democracy and that of social democracy (socialist).
This is also what happens with the participation of citizens, social groups and the whole population in the formation of political wills.
Liberal democracy is one in which the development of economic and financial organizations is not subject to restrictions. In it, individuals enjoy complete freedom of contract with each other.
Liberal democracy is characterized by the non-interference of the State in the economic and financial affairs of citizens. Business is left to the private initiative and production is subject to the law of supply and demand.
Social democracy is one in which the development of economic organizations is subordinated to the interests of the people as a whole. In it, all contracts are subordinated to the interests of the community.
The State controls economic and financial affairs, and production is determined by the State according to consumption needs.
Neoliberal democracy is based on a set of political and economic measures, which had its origins in the 1980s. This type of democracy was promoted by American President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margareth Thatcher.